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Photography Fun with the Grim Reaper

Updated on September 24, 2013
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

Death is nothing to laugh about. The large majority of people in the entire world are afraid of death. Something about the finality of dying scares most of us to the point that we do not even want to even think of it although we all know that it will come sooner or later.

Then if something like this is so scary why not look for a way of making fun out of fears, it may even help us take this inevitability with a twisted, yet fun approach?

There are some photographers who do just that; they make fun of almost everything and The Grim Reaper is not exception. How do they do this? you may ask, well personally I say that they give Mr. or Mrs. Reaper a human touch. The idea behind this particular theme is to present death in mundane everyday situations. much like what us simple mortals do everyday of our short lives.

The project in itself is rather simplistic; you dress a tall model in what death usually wears which seems to be a black head to toe cloak and give him or her its usual prop, a wheat scythe.

Be creative and enlist the help of locations where to conduct the photo shoot such as a Laundromat, a supermarket, a mall, a restaurant and so on. Basically anywhere where you would find a regular person doing the daily chores or tasks, is the same where you can pose your Reaper character.

You will off course find those that find such a project offensive to say the least. take this with a grain of salt and perhaps explain that this is just one more photogrpahic project with perhaps the intention of showing that this is nothing to be fearful about and we should accept it.

Nevertheless do not get into an argument with anyone who may strongly object Just go about your business, that is if you happen to live in a free country like I do.

Before we begin, here is a short history of the personification of death, which is after all why it has been given a name; "The concept of death as a sentient entity has existed in many societies since the beginning of history. In English, Death is often given the name Grim Reaper and, from the 15th century onward came to be shown as a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood. It is also given the name of the Angel of Death or Devil of Death or the angel of dark and light stemming from the Bible and Talmudic lore. The Bible itself does not refer to "The Angel of Death"; there is, however, a reference to "Abaddon" (The Destroyer), an Angel who is known as the "The Angel of the Abyss". In Talmudic lore, he is characterized as archangel Samael

In some cases, the Grim Reaper can actually cause the victim's death, leading to tales that he can be bribed, tricked, or outwitted in order to retain one's life, such as in the case of Sisyphus. Other beliefs hold that the Spectre of Death is only a psychopomp, serving to sever the last ties between the soul and the body and to guide the deceased to the next world without having any control over the fact of the victim's death. In many languages (including English), Death is personified in male form, while in others, it is perceived as a female character (for instance," Wikipedia

Some of the most prolific themes for these types of photos are for political satire, for a social cause like drinking and driving, for motivational or de-motivational posters and for general photographic projects.

As far as equipment to use for the Propecia; a general set up will work just fine although you should use a flash unit and calibrate your camera to capture true blacks as in the Reaper's cloak.

If you are handy with a digital editing program, then your horizon widens as you can incorporate surreal elements and give more zest to your photographs.

Keep in mind that in most cultures where this character is recognized the Reaper's face is not really visible, but if you wish putting a "skull" mask will work too.


© 2013 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      SidKemp: Thank you

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Nice! I particularly like to see the Grim Reaper surfing - let's hope he's on a vacation, like in Death Takes a Holiday! And of course his detergent is Cheer - Dark formula!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      innerspin: Thank you

    • innerspin profile image

      innerspin 4 years ago from uk

      Love the photos! Mr. Reaper on a tricycle cracked me up. You had me from the first sentence. Brilliant idea, well done.